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1 US MA: OPED: The Supreme Court and the Purposes of MedicineThu, 09 Mar 2006
Source:New England Journal of Medicine (MA) Author:Bloche, M. Gregg Area:Massachusetts Lines:238 Added:03/09/2006

What role should physicians have in defining the purposes of their profession -- the functions that medicine should and should not serve? Many observers hold that medicine's aims are for doctors and patients to decide, without interference from the state.

But in fact, government limits medicine's purposes in many ways. Doctors cannot prescribe mind-altering substances for recreational use or anabolic steroids to enhance athletic performance. Physicians were once barred from terminating pregnancies, and today, in 49 states, they are not allowed to assist the terminally ill in ending their lives.

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2 US: Supreme Court Won't Hear Drug-Test AppealTue, 17 Jun 2003
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Holland, Gina Area:United States Lines:76 Added:06/19/2003

Washington: The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a second appeal from a South Carolina hospital in a lawsuit over now-illegal hospital drug tests on pregnant women.

The Supreme Court ruled two years ago the tests, once given at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Some women who tested positive for drugs were arrested from their beds shortly after giving birth.

The Medical University of South Carolina had asked the Supreme Court to consider the narrower issue of whether the women knew their urine was being screened for drugs, as part of a 1989 policy designed to stop the crack baby epidemic.

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3US SC: Fetal-Drug Prosecution Ignites Debate in S.C.Sun, 23 Feb 2003
Source:Post and Courier, The (Charleston, SC) Author:Stevens, Kathy Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2003

State Stands Alone in Arresting Women Who Engage in Risky Behavior During Pregnancy

It should have been among the most celebrated days of Regina McKnight's life.

She was to deliver her third child, a girl she'd named Mercedes, but the 5-pound infant was stillborn. An autopsy revealed traces of a cocaine byproduct in the infant's blood.

Results were given to police, and McKnight was charged with homicide by child abuse. That day she joined more than 100 women in South Carolina who have faced criminal charges in the past 15 years for using cocaine while pregnant.

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4 US: Transcript: Lynn Paltrow's Visit To The DrugSense Chat RoomSun, 11 Nov 2001
Source:DrugSense (US)          Area:United States Lines:291 Added:11/12/2001

DrugSenseBot001: Lynn Paltrow of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women program of the Women's Law Project will be our special guest in the DrugSense Chat Room, Sun. Nov 11, 2001 8:00 EDT, 5:00PM Pacific time. See http://www.cultural-baggage.com/schedule.htm for a schedule

Dean_Becker: Welcome to the Drugsense Chat Ms. Paltrow. Thank you Mr. Becker.

Dean_Becker: Please explain to the viewers here the nature of your work

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5 US: No Clear Message From Supreme CourtWed, 22 Aug 2001
Source:American Medical News (US) Author:Albert, Tanya Area:United States Lines:132 Added:08/22/2001

Rulings this term on medical marijuana, drug testing and unionization have mixed results for physicians. Justices take on the big issue -- ERISA -- this fall.

The U.S. Supreme Court was fairly friendly toward the nation's physicians this year. But it could have been friendlier. In cases that took on issues ranging from whether a public hospital can perform drug tests on pregnant women without their consent and then give police the results, to whether the National Labor Relations Board had properly defined the role of a supervisor in a health care setting, the court set parameters for the practice of medicine. The pattern is: There is no pattern But it's hard to draw conclusions -- or make predictions -- based on this set of decisions on wide-reaching cases from a court that has a reputation for being hard to handicap. "The only pattern you find with the Supreme Court these days is that it will do whatever it wants," said Jay Gold, MD, editor in chief of Legal Medicine Perspectives, published by the American College of Legal Medicine. "Because of the way the court membership is fractured, it's hard to get five people," added Mary Anne Bobinski, director of the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center. "The fifth vote is hard to predict." In Ferguson v. Charleston, S.C. the swing votes came down squarely on the side of physicians. In a 6-3 decision, the court said a policy that the Medical University of South Carolina developed "in good faith" with other government agencies violated the Fourth Amendment. The policy, initiated in 1989 and discontinued five years later, led to the arrest of pregnant women and new mothers who tested positive for cocaine. The high court's decision marked the first time justices didn't give the benefit of the doubt to police in a drug enforcement case. Even though the court made the point that there was no physician-patient relationship in the Charleston case, the decision, in and of itself, is supportive of the traditional role of the physician-patient relationship. "It is protecting patients from intrusion," Bobinski said. "Medical professionals, when doing medical testing and screening, should be doing it for medical reasons," added Lawrence Gostin, professor of law and public health at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Court united, experts divided Legal experts are split on whether physicians and the practice of medicine can claim victory with the court's unanimous ruling on medical marijuana in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, et al. The decision addressed the distribution of the drug and stayed out of the medical necessity issue.

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6 US: No Clear Message From Supreme CourtMon, 20 Aug 2001
Source:American Medical News (US) Author:Albert, Tanya Area:United States Lines:180 Added:08/13/2001

Rulings this term on medical marijuana, drug testing and unionization have mixed results for physicians. Justices take on the big issue -- ERISA -- this fall.

The U.S. Supreme Court was fairly friendly toward the nation's physicians this year. But it could have been friendlier.

In cases that took on issues ranging from whether a public hospital can perform drug tests on pregnant women without their consent and then give police the results, to whether the National Labor Relations Board had properly defined the role of a supervisor in a health care setting, the court set parameters for the practice of medicine.

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7 US: Transcript: Fetal Protection - Part 1 of 2Wed, 20 Jun 2001
Source:National Public Radio (US)          Area:United States Lines:609 Added:06/23/2001

It's TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Juan Williams.

In South Carolina today the state Supreme Court heard the case of Brenda Peppers, a woman who was addicted to crack when she had a stillborn child. In 1999, prosecutors charged her with abusing her unborn child by taking cocaine while pregnant and she received a sentence of two years' probation. But Regina McKnight, another South Carolinian, got a more harsh sentence. McKnight's child was also stillborn eight months into her pregnancy. Two weeks ago, McKnight became the first woman ever to be charged with the murder of her stillborn child. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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8 US SC: PUB LTE: Women Need To Be Helped, Not PunishedWed, 20 Jun 2001
Source:Sun News (SC) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:South Carolina Lines:42 Added:06/21/2001

Re. J. Gregory Hembree's essay [The Sun News, June 6]. Prosecutor Hembree's commitment to holding pregnant women accountable for lifestyle choices is no doubt well-intended, but his argument is fundamentally flawed. Zero-tolerance drug laws drive use underground, compelling individuals suffering from chronic addiction, pregnant or otherwise, to avoid drug treatment. Would alcoholics seek help if doing so were tantamount to confessing to criminal activity? Would putting every incorrigible alcoholic behind bars and saddling them with criminal records prove cost-effective? The Regina McKnight case is preceded by the Ferguson case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the drug testing of pregnant women on constitutional grounds. There are compelling health arguments to be made as well. If the invasive practice had continued, the threat of criminal sanctions would discourage pregnant women who use drugs from seeking prenatal care. This would only increase maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Alcohol, incidentally, causes the greatest number of and most severe birth defects. It kills more people annually than all illegal drugs combined. If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, alcohol and tobacco would both be illegal, and marijuana, a relatively harmless drug incapable of causing an overdose death, would not. The hypocritical war on some drugs only compounds the problem.

Robert Sharpe The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation Washington, D.C. Web site: http://www.drugpolicy.org.

[end]

9 US SC: Drug Treatment For Women Available In South CarolinaSun, 10 Jun 2001
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wade, Rick C Area:South Carolina Lines:85 Added:06/14/2001

A Conway woman, Regina McKnight, recently was convicted of killing her unborn fetus by smoking crack cocaine. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ferguson vs. City of Charleston that hospitals cannot, without the woman's consent or a warrant, test a pregnant woman for drugs with the intention of giving the results to the police.

Both of these nationally publicized cases have focused a spotlight on the issue of substance abuse among women in South Carolina. Unfortunately, some of the accompanying coverage has included inaccuracies and misinformation about the availability of treatment for this population.

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10US WA: OPED: Washington Fares Only Slightly Better In Treating Drug UsersSun, 10 Jun 2001
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Schnapper, Eric Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:06/11/2001

The problem of illicit drug use has tragic and far-reaching consequences -- delusions, destructive behavior, irrational fears and a refusal to take responsibility for one's actions. And that is just what it does to some elected officials.

One of the most insidious and counterproductive anti-drug policies is the increasingly visible prosecution of women for abusing drugs while pregnant.

South Carolina has been the center for this ill-conceived tactic, accounting for as many as half of all the prosecutions in the country.

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11 US: Testing Poor Pregnant Women For Cocaine - Physicians As PoliceThu, 31 May 2001
Source:New England Journal of Medicine (MA) Author:Annas, George J. Area:United States Lines:423 Added:05/31/2001

In 1989, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall surmised that "declaring a war on illegal drugs is good public policy . . . [but] the first, and worst, casualty of war will be the precious liberties of our citizens."1 The same year, in the midst of President George Bush's "war on drugs," the Medical University of South Carolina initiated a program to screen selected pregnant patients for cocaine and to provide positive test results to the police.2 At a time of high public concern about "cocaine babies," this program seemed reasonable to the university and local public officials. Drug-screening programs in other groups of people had been found constitutional by the Supreme Court,1,3 and it was beginning to appear that the war on drugs would claim the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, as one of its first casualties.4

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12 US: S.C. Verdict Fuels Debate Over Rights of the UnbornSun, 27 May 2001
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Pressley, Sue Anne Area:United States Lines:174 Added:05/29/2001

Jury Finds Mother Guilty of Homicide in Stillbirth

Throughout her recent three-day trial on charges she had killed her stillborn child by smoking crack cocaine, Regina McKnight was in disbelief that she had even been charged.

"I didn't kill my baby," she kept repeating to those around her.

A jury in Horry County, S.C., disagreed. After just 15 minutes of deliberations, jurors returned May 15 with a guilty verdict that has stirred a debate about fetal rights and given McKnight a distinction she still has trouble grasping.

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13US RI: OPED: Women Giving Birth In HandcuffsWed, 18 Apr 2001
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Schroedel, Jean Reith Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2001

MAYBE the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that hospitals cannot screen pregnant women for drug use without their consent will put aside our desire to punish "bad mothers" and instead focus on policies that actually improve fetal health and salvage people caught in the throes of addiction.

The court's surprisingly strong 6-to-3 Ferguson v. Charleston ruling illustrates that even a conservative court has limits beyond which it will not tread.

The decision sends a message that fundamental rights to privacy and freedom from involuntary search and seizure cannot be infringed upon simply because a woman is pregnant.

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14 US CA: PUB LTE: It's Time To Declare Peace In The Failed DrugFri, 30 Mar 2001
Source:Red Bluff Daily News (CA) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:California Lines:57 Added:03/31/2001

Editor:

In response to the above-mentioned editorial:

U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the drug testing of pregnant women on constitutional grounds, but there are compelling health arguments as well.

If the invasive practice had continued, the threat of criminal sanctions would discourage pregnant women who use drugs from seeking prenatal care. This would only increase maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.

The zero-tolerance approach to illicit drugs compounds the problem. When drug use is driven underground, individuals suffering from chronic addiction, pregnant or otherwise, are less likely to seek treatment. Would alcoholics seek help if doing so were tantamount to confessing to criminal activity? Likewise, would putting every incorrigible alcoholic behind bars and saddling them with criminal records prove cost-effective?

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15US CA: Column: Being Pregnant Makes This A CrimeWed, 28 Mar 2001
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/29/2001

Within hours, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant women is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high fives?

Back in 1989, we were at the height of the "crack baby" furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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16 US SD: Column: Pregnant Women Entitled to PrivacyWed, 28 Mar 2001
Source:Daily Republic, The (SD) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:South Dakota Lines:108 Added:03/28/2001

BOSTON - Within hours, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant women is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high-fives?

Back in 1989, we were at the height of the "crack baby" furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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17 US FL: Column: Prosecuting Pregnant Women: Court Victory MayWed, 28 Mar 2001
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:Florida Lines:107 Added:03/28/2001

BOSTON - Within hours, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant women is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high-fives?

Back in 1989, we were at the height of the "crack baby" furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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18 US TN: Column: How Far Do We Carry Fetal CrimesTue, 27 Mar 2001
Source:Oak Ridger (TN) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:Tennessee Lines:97 Added:03/28/2001

BOSTON -- Within hours, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant women is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high-fives?

Back in 1989, we were at the height of the "crack baby'' furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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19 US IA: Column: Privacy Case Proves Difficulty Of Enforcing MoralTue, 27 Mar 2001
Source:Quad-City Times (IA) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:Iowa Lines:70 Added:03/28/2001

Court Upholds Fourth Amendment

Last week's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that a pregnant woman is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to break out the champagne. I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high-fives?

Back in 1989, we were at the height of the "crack baby" furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment. That year, the hospital of the Medical University of South Carolina offered to cut a deal with the police that virtually deputized doctors and nurses., The hospital tested the urine of patients who fit a certain police "profile" and turned over the results of those who tested positive. Over a few years, women with the same "profile" - all but one of them African-American, and all poor - came for maternity care and ended up in police custody. Eventually, the hospital added drug treatment as an alternative but some 30 women were jailed during pregnancy, or were shackled in the delivery room or arrested in recovery. In many ways, this was a story of bad law meets bad medicine.

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20 US NC: Column: Danger Lurks In Ruling On Drug-Testing CaseTue, 27 Mar 2001
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:North Carolina Lines:107 Added:03/27/2001

Justices were right to stop a Charleston hospital from testing pregnant women for drugs, but there's little to celebrate.

Within hours, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant women is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high-fives?

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21US CA: Editorial: Decision Shows Rights At Stake In War On DrugsTue, 27 Mar 2001
Source:Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/27/2001

One of the major - and often unnoticed - casualties of the war on drugs is the Fourth Amendment. The constitutional rights contained in that provision have been subtly eroding for some time now in our nation's efforts to crack down on drug use, which is why last week's Supreme Court ruling is worth noting.

The Supreme Court ruled that a South Carolina drug testing program for pregnant women violated the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The South Carolina program was a cooperative effort between a public hospital and police. Maternity patients at the hospital were secretly tested for drug use, and the information turned over to police, who arrested at least 30 women as part of the program.

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22 US OH: Column: Bad Law And Bad MedicineTue, 27 Mar 2001
Source:Cincinnati Post (OH) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:Ohio Lines:88 Added:03/27/2001

BOSTON - Within hours, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant woman is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high-fives?

Back in 1989, we were at the height of the ''crack baby'' furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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23 US MA: Column: Privacy And PregnancyTue, 27 Mar 2001
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:Massachusetts Lines:111 Added:03/27/2001

WITHIN HOURS, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant women is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high fives?

Back in 1989 we were at the height of the ''crack baby'' furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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24US CA: Editorial: The Word 'Drugs' Doesn't Mean 'Invade My Privacy'Mon, 26 Mar 2001
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/27/2001

THIS COUNTRY'S well-meaning, but often overreaching, war on drugs has run into unanticipated resisters. For the second time since November, a bloc of six U.S. Supreme Court justices has ruled that the government's good intentions don't override the Constitution's privacy protections.

The most recent case involved a public hospital that screened pregnant women for cocaine use and turned positive results over to the police. The women said they never consented to the tests.

By 6 to 3, the court decided that the practice violated the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The justices made the right call.

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25 US IL: Column: Cause To Be Wary Of Justice Kennedy's WarningMon, 26 Mar 2001
Source:State Journal-Register (IL) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:Illinois Lines:100 Added:03/26/2001

WITHIN HOURS, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant women is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high fives?

Back in 1989 we were at the height of the ''crack baby'' furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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26 US: Privacy Rights For Mothers Prevail In Drug-Test RulingThu, 22 Mar 2001
Source:Christian Science Monitor (US) Author:Richey, Warren Area:United States Lines:79 Added:03/26/2001

The Tribunal Ruled That Pregnant Moms Must Be Told If Test Results Will Be Turned Over To Law Officers.

When Charleston, S.C., adopted a policy of testing pregnant women in hospitals for illegal drugs, they were trying to protect unborn babies from the possible effects of narcotics abuse.

But the consequences for mothers who failed the tests - possible arrest - erupted into a firestorm.

The US Supreme Court, ruling on the issue yesterday, said the city's drug-testing policy constituted unreasonable search and seizure. The decision, by a 6-to-3 vote, affirms privacy rights in a hospital setting. The justices said the expectant mothers have a constitutional right to be informed that results of the tests may be used against them.

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27US GA: Column: Hospital Personnel Needn't Be Police OfficersSun, 25 Mar 2001
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Goodman, Ellen Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2001

Within hours, the lawyers had broken out the champagne. It's come to that. A decision by this Supreme Court that a pregnant woman is entitled to the same medical privacy as any other patient is enough to bring on the bubbly.

I am willing to take victories where I get them. But a verdict that a hospital is not a police station? Is this what qualifies these days for high-fives?

Back in 1989, we were at the height of the "crack baby" furor. With little drug treatment for pregnant women, there was lots of punitive treatment.

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28 US PA: Editorial: Distasteful - And Now IllegalSat, 24 Mar 2001
Source:Observer-Reporter (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:34 Added:03/25/2001

There is no question that drug use during pregnancy presents a danger to the unborn child. Still, the notion of testing women against their will and arresting them in their hospital beds shortly after they give birth is distasteful.

The practice is also unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week. In administering the tests and turning the results over to the police, a South Carolina public hospital violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unjust searches, the court said.

No doubt the practice was begun with the best of intentions. Still, forced drug tests for the purpose of gaining evidence to arrest new mothers should give pause to even the most dedicated anti-drug warrior.

[end]

29 US CO: OPED: Doctors Can't Play CopsSat, 24 Mar 2001
Source:Daily Camera (CO)          Area:Colorado Lines:73 Added:03/24/2001

The use of illegal drugs is both a crime and a medical problem, and much of the debate about the so-called "war on drugs" focuses on whether the medical or the legal model should guide public policy.

But one thing is clear after an enlightened decision this week by the U.S. Supreme Court: Under the guise of treatment, hospitals may not gather evidence for the police without triggering Fourth Amendment protections against "unreasonable searches and seizures."

By a 6-3 vote, the high court reversed a lower-court decision holding that a Charleston, S.C., public hospital was free to obtain urine samples from pregnant women participating in a program, and then turn evidence of cocaine use over to police. The program had the admirable intention of dealing with the problem of "crack babies."

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30US CA: Editorial: Protecting PrivacySat, 24 Mar 2001
Source:Red Bluff Daily News (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2001

After more than a decade of sacrificing the Constitution to the war on drugs, the U.S. Supreme Court is finally imposing limits. On Wednesday, the court ruled that a state hospital could not set up a joint program with police to obtain urine samples from pregnant women for possible prosecution - unless the women consented.

This is the second limit the court has imposed on drug police within four months; earlier it ruled out the use of random roadblocks to catch people with drugs.

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31 US: Supreme Court Rules Hospitals Must Have Consent To ReleaseThu, 22 Mar 2001
Source:Inquirer (PA) Author:Asseo, Laurie Area:United States Lines:117 Added:03/24/2001

WASHINGTON (AP) Public hospitals cannot test pregnant women for drugs and turn the results over to police without consent, the U.S. Supreme Court said yesterday in a ruling that buttressed the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches.

Some women who tested positive for drugs at a South Carolina public hospital had been arrested from their beds shortly after giving birth.

The justices ruled 6-3 that such testing without patients' consent violated the Constitution even though the goal was to prevent women from harming their fetuses by using crack cocaine.

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32US FL: Editorial: Privacy Rights And Fetal Drug AbuseFri, 23 Mar 2001
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/23/2001

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 the other day that hospitals cannot test pregnant women for drugs without their consent.

The case, Ferguson vs. City of Charleston, challenged the South Carolina city's program under which selected obstetrics patients at a municipal hospital were tested for cocaine use, with positive findings turned over to the local police.

As vile as it is for a woman to subject her unborn child to illicit drugs, the policy is still a gross violation of privacy. The court answered the Fourth Amendment question of whether urine tests performed without warrants were unconstitutional searches.

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33 US: Forced Drug Tests For Pregnant Women Struck DownWed, 21 Mar 2001
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Lane, Charles Area:United States Lines:109 Added:03/22/2001

In a victory for civil-liberties advocates and abortion rights groups, the Supreme Court today ruled that hospitals cannot administer drug tests to pregnant women without their consent and forward positive results to the police.

By a vote of 6 to 3, the court held that the drug tests conducted in the past by a Charleston, S.C., public hospital amounted to warrantless police searches of the women. The searches could not be justified by local authorities' expressed interests in protecting the health of the women or their unborn children.

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34 US: Justices Rule Against Secret Tests For DrugsThu, 22 Mar 2001
Source:Register-Guard, The (OR)          Area:United States Lines:151 Added:03/22/2001

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court upheld the medical privacy of pregnant women Wednesday, ruling that hospitals and police may not conspire to secretly test the women for drug use.

In a 6-3 ruling, the court said the Constitution's protection against unwarranted searches outweighs the government's need to detect drug use, even when a fetus could be exposed.

The decision rejects a unique and controversial drug testing program begun in Charleston, S.C., in 1988, when fears of a "crack baby" epidemic reached their peak.

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35US: Mothers Win Ruling In Drug Test CaseThu, 22 Mar 2001
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Savage, David G. Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:03/22/2001

Privacy: Supreme Court Says A Hospital Can't Screen Pregnant Women Without Their Consent And Give Results To Police.

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the medical privacy of pregnant women Wednesday, ruling that hospital officials and police may not conspire to secretly test patients for drugs.

In a 6-3 ruling, the court said the Constitution's protection for privacy outweighs the government's need to detect drug use, even when a fetus could be exposed.

The decision rejects a unique and controversial drug testing program begun in Charleston, S.C., in 1988, when fears of a "crack baby" epidemic reached their peak.

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36 US SC: Court Rules Against S.C. Anti-Drug TacticThu, 22 Mar 2001
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Lane, Charles Area:South Carolina Lines:146 Added:03/22/2001

Justices Strike Hospital's Testing, at Police Behest, of Nonconsenting Pregnant Women

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a public hospital cannot administer drug tests to pregnant women without their consent and forward positive results to police. The decision limits how far government agencies may go in gathering and disseminating private information about citizens -- even when it is supposed to be for their own good.

By a vote of 6 to 3, the court held that tests of expectant mothers' urine for cocaine, conducted by medical personnel in cooperation with local law enforcement officials at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, amounted to unconstitutional police searches. Officials' professed goals -- protecting the health of the women and their unborn children -- did not justify conducting the tests without a search warrant, the court said.

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37US: Drug Tests On Pregnant Women Without Consent RuledThu, 22 Mar 2001
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Curriden, Mark Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:03/22/2001

Hospitals that secretly test pregnant women for drug use without a search warrant and then turn over the results to law enforcement are committing an illegal search, the U.S. Supreme Court said yesterday.

The justices, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that South Carolina doctors and nurses violated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches when they tested the blood of 30 pregnant women for illegal drugs without their permission.

The women clearly had a "reasonable expectation of privacy," said Justice John Paul Stephens, who wrote the majority opinion.

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38 US: Supreme Court Nixes Hospital Drug TestsWed, 21 Mar 2001
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Asseo, Laurie Area:United States Lines:108 Added:03/22/2001

Hospitals cannot test pregnant women for drugs without their consent and turn the results over to police, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a decision that bolstered the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches.

The 6-3 decision in the case of drug-testing by a South Carolina public hospital said such testing violates the Constitution even though the goal was to prevent women from harming their fetuses by using crack cocaine.

Such tests require a search warrant or consent, the justices said. They ordered a lower court to determine whether the women at the Charleston hospital actually consented to the tests.

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39 US: Court Curbs Drug Tests During PregnancyThu, 22 Mar 2001
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Greenhouse, Linda Area:United States Lines:162 Added:03/21/2001

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled today that hospital workers cannot constitutionally test maternity patients for illegal drug use without their consent if the purpose is to alert the police to a crime.

The court's 6-to-3 decision did not resolve a 10-year-old lawsuit brought against the city of Charleston, S.C., by women who were arrested, under a cooperative program between a public hospital and the police department, after a positive urine test for cocaine.

The question of whether any of the 10 plaintiffs actually consented to the tests remains to be decided in the lower courts.

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40 US IL: 'Crack Babies': Black Children Defy Stereotypes, Face BiasSat, 17 Mar 2001
Source:The Chicago Reporter Author:Karp, Sarah Area:Illinois Lines:456 Added:03/18/2001

Britney is a playful little girl. By mid-morning one Thursday in early January, she had put her hot pink sweater and pink, polka-dot pants on inside out and backwards, covered her face with shaving cream and painted a sheet of paper completely blue, titling the picture "daddy."

She's also antsy. Sitting for a lesson is difficult. Her squirminess lands her wrapped in the teacher's lap.

And she's needy. Britney, 4, is quick to hug a stranger several times. She looks her teacher straight in the eye and calls her "Mama."

[continues 3543 words]

41 US NJ: OPED: Should Pregnant Women Be Tested For Drugs Without Their Permission?Sun, 18 Feb 2001
Source:Bergen Record (NJ) Author:Curriden, Mark Area:New Jersey Lines:202 Added:02/19/2001

LORI GRIFFIN WALKED INTO a public hospital in Charleston, S.C., October 1989 eight months pregnant thinking she was going into labor.

Doctors told the 36-year-old single mother of two that it was a false alarm. Her symptoms, the doctors told her, were probably caused by the stress of losing her job and home -- all because of Hurricane Hugo a week before.

What happened next resulted in a 12-year legal battle that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

[continues 1345 words]

42US NE: Four Crack Babies, One Tough DebateSun, 21 Jan 2001
Source:Omaha World-Herald (NE) Author:Morantz, Dave Area:Nebraska Lines:Excerpt Added:01/21/2001

In late October, a 31-year-old Omaha woman with a history of drug use and prostitution gave birth to her fifth child.

The newborn girl tested positive for crack/cocaine, just like all her siblings except the oldest. And like the four other children, Nebraska Health and Human Services took custody of the child.

But the mother still roams Omaha's streets - her children scattered across the country and struggling with the lingering effects of their mother's addiction. One son still has difficulty breathing and acts up in school. Another drifts in and out of sleep at night, unable to stop rocking in his crib. Relatives are raising the four oldest children, and the baby remains in the state's custody.

[continues 1582 words]

43 US SC: Baby Drug Case Ends In MistrialSat, 13 Jan 2001
Source:Post and Courier (SC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:76 Added:01/15/2001

CONWAY - The trial of a mother accused of killing her unborn baby with crack cocaine was declared a mistrial Friday after two jurors admitted they researched the case on the Internet, said Circuit Court Judge James E. Brogdon Jr.

Regina D. McKnight, 23, was charged with homicide by child abuse and distribution of crack cocaine after she gave birth to a stillborn 35-week-old fetus in May.

McKnight could receive life in prison if convicted.

South Carolina's Supreme Court has ruled that a viable fetus is considered a child and causing it to ingest harmful drugs constitutes child abuse.

[continues 391 words]

44US: OPED: Doctors Should Not Police Pregnant Women's ActionsWed, 15 Nov 2000
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Daniels, Cynthia Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:11/15/2000

IMAGINE GOING to your doctor for routine medical treatment and supplying the typical urine sample. The doctor leaves the examination room, goes down the hall and, without your knowledge or consent, tests your urine for illicit drugs.

As you wait in your patient's gown, police enter the room, handcuff and shackle you, and take you off to prison on charges of drug possession.

Is it legal for you to be tested without your consent? Is it legal for your doctor to call the police if you test positive? Is it legal for you to incriminate yourself with your own blood or urine? These are the questions involved in the Ferguson vs. City of Charleston (S.C.) case argued last month before the U.S. Supreme Court.

[continues 641 words]

45 US TX: OPED: Point-Counterpoint: Should Pregnant Drug AddictsFri, 10 Nov 2000
Source:Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Author:Sewald, William H. Area:Texas Lines:145 Added:11/12/2000

What'S Next Step? A Police State?

To The Left

By William H. Seewald

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide in a landmark case this year, Ferguson vs. South Carolina, the constitutionality of a South Carolina law allowing the arrest of pregnant crack cocaine users who, without their permission, are tested for drug use when seeking medical care.

This one's troubling for several reasons, not least of all the ongoing erosion of the Fourth Amendment, our one-time constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

[continues 961 words]

46 US: Search Warrant Case Prompts Lively Debate At Supreme CourtThu, 02 Nov 2000
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Greenhouse, Linda Area:United States Lines:137 Added:11/02/2000

WASHINGTON, - The State of Illinois asked the Supreme Court today to let police officers bar people from entering their homes during the time it takes to get a warrant to search for drugs or other illegal items that can readily be destroyed.

An Illinois appeals court found that the practice of impounding a home - - limiting the occupants freedom of movement and securing the building from the outside - violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable seizures.

The 1999 ruling came in the case of a man whom the police kept outside his trailer for the two hours it took to get a warrant after his estranged wife said he had hidden marijuana under a sofa.

[continues 870 words]

47US: Web: Criminally PregnantMon, 30 Oct 2000
Source:CNN (US Web) Author:Kahn, Jeffrey P. Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:10/31/2000

The trend toward punishing pregnant women for unhealthy behavior has been steadily on the increase for the last few years. Women have been prosecuted in a number of states for either child abuse or delivering drugs to a minor because they used illicit drugs during pregnancy. In a recent Massachusetts case, a pregnant woman was jailed when she refused a prenatal medical exam on religious grounds.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide a case that represents a showdown over the question of whether preventing harm to future children can trump pregnant womens decision making and even their freedom. The Court heard oral arguments in early October in the case of Ferguson v. City of Charleston, in which pregnant women sued a hospital for releasing results of drug tests to police. The policy and practice at a hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, was to perform a drug test on pregnant women who fit certain criteria. Those who tested positive for cocaine use were reported to the police and offered the option of immediate admission to inpatient drug treatment or arrest and possible jail time.

[continues 497 words]

48 US SC: Editorial: Unreasonable SearchSat, 14 Oct 2000
Source:Newsday (NY)          Area:South Carolina Lines:52 Added:10/15/2000

Deputizing Doctors As Cops To Id And Jail Pregnant Drug Users Trashes The Bill Of Rights.

Here are the bare bones of a case the Supreme Court heard last week: A decade ago, some pregnant women who went to a South Carolina public hospital for prenatal care were given urine tests and arrested if the results turned up positive for cocaine.

Doesn't that flagrantly violate the patients' Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches of their "persons, houses, papers, and effects"? It certainly does in our book. But in the lawbooks, the Supreme Court has said no warrant or probable cause is necessary for a search that meets some special need apart from enforcing the criminal laws.

[continues 233 words]

49US GA: OPED: Jailing Pregnant Women Violates Privacy RightsWed, 11 Oct 2000
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Daniels, Cynthia Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/11/2000

Imagine going to your doctor for routine medical treatment and supplying a urine sample.

The doctor exits the examination room, goes down the hall and, without your knowledge or consent, tests your urine for illicit drugs.

As you wait in your patient's gown, the police enter the room, handcuff and shackle you, and take you off to prison on charges of drug possession.

Is it legal for you to be tested without your consent? Is it legal for your doctor to call the police if you test positive? Is it legal for you to incriminate yourself with your own blood or urine?

[continues 494 words]

50 US: Editorial: Searches -- The Supreme Court Reviews TwoTue, 10 Oct 2000
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:United States Lines:47 Added:10/10/2000

It was a busy first week for the Supreme Court. Returning to a docket peppered with search-and-seizure cases, the justices have a prime opportunity to inject clarity into their Fourth Amendment analysis.

Two of the cases before the court last week were City of Indianapolis vs. Edmond, which questions the constitutionality of having an anti-narcotics dog sniff around the perimeter of a car stopped at a police roadblock; and Ferguson vs. City of Charleston, which looks at the legality of a hospital program that checked pregnant women for cocaine use and turned positive tests over to the police for potential prosecution.

[continues 209 words]


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